A New York State Education Department Office of Early Learning Grant will allow Geneva’s universal pre-kindergarten program to welcome 18 additional children this winter.
Geneva’s UPK program received $77,355 in funding to expand its program for 3-year-olds. The program currently has 42 children enrolled in the program at Happiness House and the Jim Dooley Center for Early Learning. The school district is currently working on a collaboration that would open a third location for the new students.
Joining the 3-year-old program brings numerous advantages, says Geneva City School District’s Head Start and Pre-K director, Karissa Schutt. “They’ll be starting out being part of the Geneva City School District, though it’s out in the community, it’s starting children on a trajectory of school readiness,” said Mrs. Schutt. “It’s really a play-based program, so really targeting the whole child with social/emotional development.”
Joining the program brings access to other opportunities offered by the district, included weekly PAWS Nights and other special events.
“We’re just grateful for the opportunity to continue building those foundational skills in our district and excited for the opportunity to engage in a new partnership within the community,” said Mrs. Schutt.
The near 50 percent increase will likely come largely from a preexisting wait list of 20 children. “We have a waiting list that we’re ready to reach out to,” said Mrs. Schutt, explaining the 18 names would be drawn by lottery. The district hopes to launch the program towards the end of February.
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